Monday, 30 June 2014

NARA. In the shadow of Kyoto.



Nara, Japan’s ancient capital, has long been in the shadow of Kyoto. Yet, it deserves the attention of tourists who are visiting Kyoto or Osaka. It predated all other cities in Japan. It’s a more intimate peep into the old Japan. From Kyoto or Osaka, Nara is a quick 40-minute train ride. It can be explored on a day and better seen on foot.

After 7 months in the ocean I needed something a bit more challenging than taking a regular bus or train. Wanted to meet some interesting people and was told that hitch hiking in Japan is not that common. So hitch hiking it is! I just couldn't leave the city, there was nothing like end of it...just another village stared and I had to put my thumb up kind of in the city which is not ideal but after 20 min of waiting, an old guy pulled over and said that he can take me only half way where his house was. He was around 70, an ex air force officer who spoke perfect English. He told me all about his family and kids, his travels round Europe, taught me words in Japanese and took me all the way to Nara at the end. We only stopped at his house for a minute so he tells his wife about the unexpected guest from Bulgaria, who needs to be taken to Nara. It was a matter of honour and hospitality for him to help me out and he refused to take money for the road tolls. So I got my touch of adventure and met an interesting person who taught me more about the country. I regret now that I didn´t take a picture of him!
Off to Nara
Just got dropped off. Deers everywhere
Stayed in Takama guesthouse, very pleasant and clean, typically Japanese dorm style guesthouse, near the train and bus staions, also easy to walk to Nara park. The owner didn´t speak much English but was very friendly and willing to help you with everything. The beds were so comfortable, don´t know if the mattress was a special kind but I slept like a baby.
Easy to decide :)
Pretty big for Japan

At Nara Park, the ever-present deer – hundreds of them gently hustling for cookies, some just too stuffed with the 150-yen treats to bother.

Run out of biscuits. Jacket´s turn 




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